Impacts of water and nitrogen addition on nitrogen recovery in Haloxylon ammodendron dominated desert ecosystems

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Cui, X., Yue, P., Gong, Y., Li, K., Tan, D., Goulding, K. W. T. and Liu, X. J. 2017. Impacts of water and nitrogen addition on nitrogen recovery in Haloxylon ammodendron dominated desert ecosystems. Science of the Total Environment. 601-602, pp. 1280-1288.

AuthorsCui, X., Yue, P., Gong, Y., Li, K., Tan, D., Goulding, K. W. T. and Liu, X. J.
Abstract

Desert ecosystems are likely to change in response to global climate change and nitrogen (N) deposition. The effects of increased precipitation and N deposition on plant growth and the N cycle largely depend on N allocation and N recovery efficiency in the plant-soil ecosystem, but there is limited research on this in desert ecosystems. Here we report results using double-labeled 15NH415NO3 (30 and 60kgNha−1yr−1) as a tracer under ambient (no additional water addition) and enhanced precipitation (60mm water addition) in a Haloxylon ammodendron dominated ecosystem in the Gurbantunggut Desert of Northwest China. Herbaceous plants were a significantly larger sink for added 15N than the H. ammodendron trees, and N retention varied with water and N addition, relative to growing season precipitation. The retention of added 15N varied within the components of H. ammodendron, with the stems retaining most, followed by the assimilation branches. Soil was the dominant sink for added 15N, in which the topsoil and subsoil respond differently to water and N addition over the two-year period. Nitrogen relative recovery percentage in the whole ecosystem ranged from 43% to 61%, lower than average recovery rate in temperate forests; N tracer recovery percentage significantly increased with water addition but decreased with enhanced N deposition. Future N cycling in central Asian deserts will depend on changes in precipitation.

KeywordsN tracer; Precipitation; Nitrogen deposition; Nitrogen recovery; Temperate desert
Year of Publication2017
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Journal citation601-602, pp. 1280-1288
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.05.202
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Publication dates
Online09 Jun 2017
Publication process dates
Accepted22 May 2017
PublisherElsevier
Elsevier Science Bv
ISSN0048-9697

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